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The other morning while drinking my morning latte, I was flipping through old recipes — well, not actually flipping since my recipes are all on my computer. Surfing. Surfing through recipes. And up popped this salad that was on my “list” during the 1990s when my middle son Daniel played high school baseball. Potluck meals were de rigeur back then since games began late in the afternoon and often ended well after dinner. Although there was a snack stand with hot dogs, chips and soda, some of us baseball moms brought more tasty, healthful dishes to share amongst ourselves.
This hearty “salad” was always a hit with the other parents – but also the kids! And this week I resurrected the recipe for friends and family – serving it for a late Sunday lunch/dinner. I didn’t mention to anyone that I was going to assess their feedback to test if this dish is still popular – but I’m happy to report that everyone raved about it. Just like back in the good old days…
Warning – I am well aware that some of you are mayonnaise averse. Well, this custom-made mayo barely, barely coats the salad and tastes so different from the store bought stuff. Give it a try.
Ladies and Gentlemen, I present…..drum roll….Sesame Salmon Vegetable Pasta Salad. The nice thing – or I should say one of the nicest things – here is that the recipe makes a pretty large quantity. Since I often eat lunch at home or pack it to go, nothing could be better. Pair this with some fruit salad and marinated asparagus or broccolini and you will be happy campers. A couple of days later I was pressed for time and scooped a nice amount of this atop an arugula salad. Divine! Oh, and you can use leftover cooked chicken in lieu of salmon if you prefer.
Salmon Pasta Salad with Sesame Dressing
Makes almost 2 quarts, enough for 6-8 people
- 1-2 cups poached, grilled, or sauteed salmon (leftovers work great)
- 2 cups raw rotini pasta, cooked, cooled and drained (spiral tricolor pasta is visually great)
- 1 ¼ c diced celery
- 2 average carrots, peeled, matchstick-cut and blanched
- ½ lb green beans, trimmed and blanched
- 6 red radishes, cut into 8 wedges each (like you would cut an apple)
- 1 cup toasted almonds, chopped or slivered
- 12 cherry tomatoes, halved
Sesame Mayo Ingredients
- 1 raw whole egg, room temperature
- 1 Tbsp unseasoned rice vinegar
- 1 Tbsp soy (I use GMO free Tamari)
- 1 ¼ Tbsp Dijon
- 1 Tbsp + sesame oil
- 1 cup canola oil
Combine all the salad ingredients, leaving out the tomatoes and almonds. They should be added at the end along with the below recipe for sesame mayonnaise, salt and pepper. Note I only used about half the Sesame Mayo – but you can use more if you like.
For the dressing – I make this exactly like I do homemade mayonnaise – instructions are here. A few extra notes though… Have all the ingredients at room temperature (this is very important). Combine all the ingredients in a tall, narrow container. Use an immersion blender and begin at the bottom, slowly bringing the wand to the top of the mix. You will instantly have mayonnaise!
To serve the salad, if you want to look impressive, line a large platter with purple or curly kale. Mound the salad in the middle and garnish the platter with hard boiled egg wedges, chopped parsley and extra almonds. I am sorry my picture isn’t what I am describing but by the time I had a chance to snap a photo a huge amount of the salad had been consumed!
The salad stays perfectly well in the refrigerator for up to four days if it lasts that long!
The leftover sesame dressing makes a fantastic dip for blanched or raw veggies too.